A holiday in the sun? Make sure you're covered
Hugh Thompson and Christine Stopp on catering for unpleasant surprises
Wednesday 19 June 1996
In a recent survey by Which? magazine, none of the major travel agents came out well in a review of more than 100 policies on offer. Which? picked out Inter Assurance, Folgate, GA Direct, Sun Alliance and Help the Aged as the best buys if the cover is for Europe only. For worldwide annual travel policies, Direct Travel and World Cover Direct also featured.
For regular travellers who take several trips abroad each year, annual policies will generally be cheaper than trip-by-trip insurance. The broker Campbell Irving does an annual policy which costs pounds 92.50 for an individual and pounds 138 for a four-member family. The same broker quotes pounds 200 for a 17- day family holiday in the US where medical costs are much higher.
One of the commonest mistakes people make about travel cover is to rely entirely on the form E111 medical cover system (available at post offices). Its aim is to offer free or low-cost medical cover in EU states for British citizens. But with this cover limited to emergency treatment in state hospitals, the holidaymaker might still have to deal with distressing holiday complaints like bad sunburn or upset stomachs. In countries such as Spain, where there are not many state hospitals, you might find yourself in a private clinic where you would be wholly responsible for the bill. Nor would the E111 cover the cost of bringing a sick holidaymaker back to the UK.
Many policies exclude valuables like jewellery, camera equipment, personal stereos and sunglasses. These may, however, be covered under the "all risks" section of your home contents policy.
Not all annual policies cover activities such as skiing. Winter sports policies may not cover snowboarding or off-piste skiing.
Travel policies will not cover pre-existing medical conditions unless they have been specifically agreed with the insurer. Older travellers should also check their cover, as they may be required to give evidence of good health.
Belongings may be covered on an indemnity, not a new-for-old basis. In other words, the original cost of your suitcase of holiday clothes will be discounted for wear and tear.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY ...
The basic cover you should look for in any travel policy:
Cancellation and curtailment: At least the cost of the holiday. The most comprehensive policies offer up to pounds 5,000.
Missed departure: (for a genuine reason, not just because you cut it too fine!). Best cover among the policies we looked at was pounds 1,000.
Accident: A Yorkshire man is currently being sued for more than pounds 80,000 by the victim of a car crash in which he was involved while on holiday in the US. He thought his accident policy covered motoring, and found out too late that it did not.
Personal accident: Look for the highest possible maximum. Policies we looked at ranged from pounds 10,000 to pounds 30,000 for disablement. Not all had a death benefit.
Medical: Look for unlimited cover. Treatment and repatriation expenses can be enormous. Failing unlimited cover, pounds 5m is acceptable.
Property: The best you can find will probably be pounds 1,500 overall cover with pounds 300 for valuables.
Personal money: pounds 500. Not covered as standard by all policies.
Loss of passport: pounds 300 was the best cover we found.
Personal public liability: Another area where costs could be horrific. pounds 2m is the best on offer.
Travel delay: pounds 100 is the standard amount offered for delay during your holiday.
Legal expenses: Not covered by all policies. Go for the best cover you can find. The highest we saw was pounds 25,000, the lowest pounds 5,000.
When to buy: Take out your travel cover as soon as you are committed to your holiday - don't leave it until the week before you get on the plane. Some 14 per cent of travel insurance claims are for cancellation.
COST OF TRAVEL COVER FOR A SINGLE ADULT
Bradford & Bingley pounds 115 pounds 22 Columbus pounds 87 pounds 16.75 Europ Assistance pounds 99 pounds 19.69 Thomas Cook pounds 125 pounds 32.95 Thomson (Summer Sun brochure) - pounds 28.50
Columbus and Europ Assistance both offer basic cover only for the premiums shown. Additional cover options can be had for extra cost.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
How couples can protect their financial interests when cohabiting
A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university
Child Maintenance Service to replace Child Support Agency - but is it better?
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Bargain Hunter: Kit yourself out in sports gear - at a healthy discount of up to 75%
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...
£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony